Aleksey Eliseevich Kulakovskiy is a founder of Yakut literature, enlightener, philosopher, first scholar, linguist, ethnographer, economist, natural scientist, and expert of terminology, grammar, folklore, and literary translation. He devoted a lifetime to development of Yakut belles-lettres and research study of motherland. While studying the nature, history and culture of native land, he travelled through the length and breadth of Yakutia. A human and the Universe are in the limelight of Kulakovskiy’s creative world. Great poetic and philosophic mystery of his works is built around these fundamental ideas.

Poem ‘Khomus’ is a significant written work of Kulakovskiy. For the first time national musical instrument that carries all spiritual energy of the Sakha people and which is in a position to affect positively on a human body is poetized in this poem.

"Earlier experts’ interest in this work as a literary phenomenon was contracted and one sided. But now in the light of latest scientific achievements it started drawing more attention by apocalyptic vision of functional peculiarities of khomus music influence" - says Ludmila Reasovna Kulakovskaya, candidate of Philological Sciences, director of A.E. Kulakovskiy Institute, writer’s grand-daughter.

World’s only museum – Museum of Khomus was founded on November 30, 1990. The founder of the museum was Ivan Egorovich Alekseev – Khomus Uibaan, Doctor of Philology, chairman of International Centre of Khomus Music, whose collection became a basis for museum opening.

As Ivan Alekseev says: “The idea of khomus music is unique. It is closely resembled to articulate language.

From the dawn of time performer is happened to play khomus like he is talking. Almost every nation in the West and East who has this traditional instrument can ‘talk’ by different types of trump. At this wisdom of great A. Kulakovskiy who celebrated khomus and told that he could speak ‘hundred of different languages’ admires.

‘Singing’ khomuses are made by blacksmiths who are well-regarded and preserved positive spiritual energy of people. And in support of Kulakovskiy’s words, ‘following gods’ will’, they put enormous vital energy into khomus.
If the soul of khomus-performer merges with the energy in the reed of khomus, live music is created, and its waves have truly thaumaturgic power and unveil the opportunities of human body. Hereof A.E. Kulakovskiy, great son of the Sakha people, wrote in his poem, hereof trump experts are talking about now”.

Museum of Khomus narrates the provenance of the khomus (trump) with demonstration of khomus playing. For this purpose school of khomus playing is organized in the museum. Surely, the most interesting collections are collection of Innokentiy Nikitich Gotovtsev – Khohun Uus – collection from International interactive competition ‘Amynnyky michere’ (‘Smile of Amynnyky’), and also collection of Ivan Fyodorovich Zakharov – Kylyadjy Uus. They are exhibited for tourists.

Yakut Museum of Khomus can be called ‘live museum’ because many international events, festivals, concerts, trump music competitions are held there. This instrument can even replace the whole orchestra, the performer can imitate the thud of hoods, wolf’s howling, blowing of air, song of skylark, gaggling, the voice of cuckoo, etc.

For several hundred years the khomus continues admiring and bringing joy to the audience, and the performers have opportunity to express their creativity.
Main peculiarity of the museum is that not only unique collections of khomuses are presented there, but it also presents great history of the people of the world.

Translated by E. Ochirova (Shishigina)

The day
When the tribe of Great Gods
Was creating this undermooned world,
The day
When we, two-legged,
Were blessed to live on Earth,
The day
That we, the Yakuts,
Were let to live on Earth,
The day
The tribe of Great Gods
Created a gift for us -
Soundful and precious to our hearts,
With the shivering tongue,
With the iron stick ringing like a string,
Making a hundred various sounds,

While doing that the tribe of Great Gods
Heartily using all the passionate words,
Coloured as the most colourful rainbow,
Were putting spells on the created khomus.
“The frame-the metal strip
We made of the greatest steel,
The clips-the bolts
We made of the hardest steel,
The loop ring
We made of the strongest steel,
The tongue-the plait
We made of the most pure steel,
With the sweetest voices of different tribes
We filled the khomus,
All singable words of different tribes
We whispered to it,
Melodious murmuring of different tribes
We sent to khomus,
With wonderful songs of different tribes
We blessed the khomus,
Whistles and twitters of various birds
We let into it,
We taught it how to be
A blow of the light-aired wind.

All those who are overcome
By grief and sorrow -
Let it sing its songs,
Let your spirit be free,
Don’t let sadness be -
Let it sing its songs,
In the days of great sadness
And sorrow and madness -
Let it sing its songs,
Just wrestle and fight,
In war don’t give up -
Let it sing its songs,

Let it help with your work
And free you from tiredness -
Let it sing its songs.
Familes are troubled,
Caught by starvation,
Tired of fighting,
When thrilled by stagnation,
Close to the eve,
Too cold to believe,
Close to the night,
Followed by fright
Will the Yakuts get under their shelter,
In spaceless nests with poles and planks,
Covered with manure for warmth,
They will start telling stories
To shorten long nights,
But will get tired of telling,
They’ll start singing songs,
But will get tired of singing,
They’ll start playing games,
But will get tired of playing…
Tired of lying useless
And weak from hunger,
Blank-minded of no motion,
That’s when
Sing your sweet song to them, khomus!
That’s when
Bring them back to life with your song, khomus!
Wake up their souls,
Warm up their hearts,
Put out the sorrow
And shorten the nights,
Make the loneliness easy,
Get rid of bad thoughts,
Make spring time come closer...

And when
The summer comes along,
Warmth overcomes winter,
When it’ll challenge the cold
And melt all the snow on Earth,
And flourish the fields with flowers,
And make the sky a royal blue,
Presenting with abundance,
Promising happiness in the future,
Making a hungry one full up,
Making a skinny one a chubby,
Making a weak one a strong one,
Bringing up those who fell down,
Filling the sky with birds,
Multiplying insects without counting,
Feeding all animals to the best,
Turning all sad people into happy ones,
All the pleasures of life giving to those
Who are unhappy and hungry
And even those, who don’t want to work,
That is when, in the warmest summer,
All people will celebrate a very special day,
Praising the spirits of grace.
At first the small Yhyakh* will take place,
Which is a family holiday.
Then the middle Yhyakh will be held,
Which is a holiday of neighbouring families.
And then – the greatest Yhyakh,
And then – the biggest Yhyakh,
Which is a holiday of all the Yakuts.

There’ll be challenging games,
And passionate dancing,
And the sweetest songs.
At the same time,
At the same place the games of dexterous,
Brave, quick and well-aimed,
Will be also taking place.
That is when you’re destined
In the form of a loud voice,
In the form of a beautiful song,
To flourish those games,
Make holidays brighter,
Songs louder, dancing faster-
To make all hearts and souls brighter.
That is how it was spelled
By grey old men,
That’s how they predicted it to be…

People of the World Khomus Museum
Credits: Story

Alexey Ivanov, High Achiever in Culture of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), curator and coordinator of the project on inclusion of regional museums of Yakutia into the project "Google Cultural Institute" (e-mail:

Also took part in the work:
Eudoxia Sleptsova, champion of exhibition ‘Kulakovskiy and Khomus’
Elizabeth Varlamova, senior research associate of People of the World Khomus Museum and Center
Algys Kun, head of conservation for scientific-fund department of People of the World Khomus Museum and Center
Irina Yakovleva, translator
Alexander Bozhedonov (Storm), photographer

Credits: All media
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